Egypt launched its National Human Rights Strategy on Saturday, promising to protect journalists, enhance the environment for political diversity, and support labour unions and NGOs.
The five-year strategy was launched at an official ceremony attended by President Abdel-Fattah al-Sissi.
“It is first comprehensive long-term strategy in the field of human rights in Egypt,” the presidency said ahead of the launch.
The strategy include reviewing laws to guarantee freedom of expression and “continue the state’s efforts to protect journalists and media personnel,” said Egypt’s permanent representative to the United Nations Office at Geneva, Ahmed Ihab Gamal Eddin, in an address.
“The strategy plans issuing a law regulating the right to obtain and share information and data,” Gamal Eddin said.
It will also ensure the right to political participation and establishing political parties and non-governmental organisations working on human rights.
Human rights groups have repeatedly criticised Egypt’s “deteriorating” human rights situation under al-Sissi, who took office in 2014, a year after the army overthrew Islamist president Mohamed Morsi following protests against his rule.
According to counts by international rights groups, thousands of activists are in prison there, some in inhumane conditions.
The strategy also aims to work on comprehensive laws to protect women and children against violence.
The state of emergency has been in force in Egypt since 2017.
Last year, emergency laws were amended as part of Egypt’s plans to deal with the coronavirus giving the president more powers to restrict public gatherings, such as protests, and private ones.